What’s Your CEBS Story? With Travis Johns, CEBS

What's Your CEBS Story

Earning your CEBS® designation is a learning journey. Along the way, you acquire valuable employee benefits knowledge and relevant new skills. As you apply what you’ve learned to your work, you can forge a unique career pathway that is truly your own. Here’s one designee’s CEBS story.

A Chat With Travis Johns, CEBS

Travis Johns, CEBS
Senior Director, Client Solutions and Team Lead
Employers Health

Travis Johns
How has expanding your professional network supported you in obtaining your designation or helped you attain success?

“I was able to participate in active discussions with industry peers working toward the same designation. These conversations allowed for sharing of best practices and, in some cases, expanded beyond the designation entirely. Additionally, the process provided invaluable opportunities to connect with CEBS professionals who offered tips and advice on the process and its intricacies. Ultimately, these conversations have grown my personal network. As a professional benefits organization, my employer holds multiple educational events throughout the year—many that qualify for CE credits. These events allow me to engage with other designees or reconnect with those whom I have encountered previously. All the connections have provided me with invaluable resources and knowledge that I am able to share with both my clients and my colleagues.”

How has pursuing your CEBS demonstrated that you are a lifelong learner and an expert in your profession?

“The CEBS designation propelled me to obtain my master’s degree in health care administration. I was able to utilize concepts learned through the CEBS program during my MHA courses. ISCEBS provides a tremendous amount of educational opportunities and resources that aid in post–CEBS designation learning. It is not uncommon that concepts, resources or recommendations that I provide my colleagues or clients originated from my CEBS experience.

Employee benefits may seem simple from the outside looking in, but the industry is complex and changes rapidly. I believe continued learning and education are imperative to becoming and remaining successful, and a CEBS designation is a natural step in the process.”

Could you share a story about how you prepared for your CEBS exam and applied what you learned to your work?

“One of the most memorable moments that I had while studying for my CEBS exam came during the Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) portion of the certification. Working with many large self-insured employers throughout the country, I had already gained a tremendous amount of familiarity with group benefits. I had not been as entrenched with the retirement section. I remember standing in my kitchen, drinking coffee and reading my notes page by page. I went through this exercise probably 15 times that day, coupled with the four pots of coffee I also consumed. I have been able to apply that knowledge to multiple conversations with clients or colleagues. Having that retirement background allows me to provide additional value to the discussion and not be a bystander when the conversation goes outside of my health benefits experience.” 

How has earning your CEBS designation has helped your professional development?

“I am blessed to work for an organization that genuinely values continuing education. The CEBS designation certainly aided my career development. The leadership team at Employers Health saw that I was utilizing what I learned through the CEBS courses and applying that knowledge in my work with our clients. More importantly, I believe the designation has enhanced my critical thinking skills.

At Employers Health, our focus is to truly serve as an extension to our clients’ benefits teams. I know that to be successful and ensure that my clients realize true value, my job is to aid in the process of enhancing their experiences, improving their outcomes and helping them achieve lower benefits cost. Working for an organization that offers solutions ranging from collaborative PBM purchasing, medical, vision, dental and an EAP, it is always important to keep a pulse on all facets of the benefits industry. CEBS empowered me be more of an extension to the clients I serve and demonstrates that resting on laurels is never an option for me. I am glad that I was encouraged by my company and devoted the time to go through the designation process. I would encourage others who might be on the fence to take the leap!”

Have questions about the CEBS designation? We can help! Give us a call at (800) 449-2327, option 3, or email cebs@ifebp.org.